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How many schools should I apply to?

How many dream schools and how many safety schools?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

Remi the number of schools you apply to depends on you, your interests, and the competitive nature of the schools to which your applying to.. For the sake of practicality I would recommend 6-8. This allows you to get a good balance of schools and to find a good fit without going overboard. However, some students who are applying highly selective schools, the schools with very low admissions rates, may want to submit more applications.

Here’s the balance I like to see: I like to see at least 2-3 schools where your pretty much assured to get in and a school where your assured it will be affordable (this may be the same school or a different one). In other words, these are two types of back-up schools – academic and financial. I like to see 2-3 schools in the mid-range. These are schools where admission is possible, but not guaranteed. They’re good fits. These are great schools that match up with your academic abilities and personal strengths. Then I would recommend throw in 2 stretch schools. Those are sort of long shot or reach schools. It’s good to have a challenge, but you can’t have an entire list of hard-to-get-in schools, no matter how strong your qualifications are.

Hope this is helpful Remi

Doc recommends the following next steps:

Application Fees: How much do you want to spend on your applications? It costs about $60 for each application.
Time: Filling out college applications takes time. Many colleges require applicants to answer additional supplemental essay prompts. Each of these responses requires not only thoughtful introspection but extensive writing and editing.
Program Availability: Not every college offers the same majors or programs. Some colleges specialize in a particular subject area, making them more desirable to students interested in those specific areas. Research your top colleges to ensure they offer your desired courses and programs.
Size and Location: Do you prefer a college in a large city or in a rural setting? Do you thrive studying around thousands of students, or do you prefer a more intimate college setting? Answering these questions will also help you narrow down your college list.
Thank you comment icon Thank You Monica. Never doubt how a small group of thoughtful and committed volunteers can change the world. Doc Frick
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Marshall’s Answer

Remi-

It will really depend on a few things. I would recommend you have one or two prime choices and a back up option. It will depend on what field of study you are wanting to go into to, schools will be specialized in that field, so it will help narrow your list.

Some applications have a fee, so that should be considered. You will also want to look at acceptance rates/ percentages (do a google search) and if they are low, you may want to consider that too. (i.e. Harvard has a 4% acceptance rate, so its very hard to get into, highly competitive).

I would also suggest you go visit your top choice(s), really be sure it's somewhere you want to invest in. State schools are usually more acceptive of applicants over private universities traditionally.

As another side note, you can always transfer at a later time if required. So if you can't get into your first choice as a high school senior, you can possibly try again after you have a year of college or two under your belt (if that makes sense to move). You will have a better chance once you have some university experience if they are difficult to get acceptance to.
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Lucas’s Answer

In short - a solid amount. Even through different tiers of schools, there's so much luck involved in the process. I got into some schools I didn't think I would, and I didn't get into some places I thought I had a good chance. Shoot for the stars, but make sure you have some suitable backup options. I applied to 12 myself I think. There's no maximum though, so up to you.
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Dante’s Answer

Aim for a quantity of five within the UK.

Strive to achieve the highest possible number within the US.
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Angela’s Answer

There is no right answer here. You are free to apply to as many or as little as you want. I would try to have at least your dream school, two or three good schools and one or two safety schools in there just in case. However, after that, its really up to you!
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Sara’s Answer

Remi,

I highly encourage you to cast a wide net and apply to numerous schools that align with your academic and social interests. The number isn't as important as ensuring that you feel content and comfortable with your choices, as these will be the launching pads for your exciting new career.

Remember, the school you select isn't set in stone. You always have the option to reevaluate and find a better fit if needed. The most important thing is that you choose a school because you genuinely believe it's the best option for you.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Sara! Remi
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Monica’s Answer

You will find the balance when you feel adding one more school application is too expensive to time consuming. Apply to as many as you can with about 1-3 safety net schools.
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Parker’s Answer

There's no definitive answer to how many schools you should apply to - it's all about what feels right for you. A good ballpark figure might be between 8 to 10, giving you a range of choices. Consider applying to 5 schools that you're passionate about and 3 that are more of a secure option. The term "safety" school isn't the best, because every acceptance should be a cause for celebration and pride. Remember, what might be a "safety" school for you could be someone else's dream school. The most important thing is to find a place where you feel you belong. Engage with professors, students, and staff, and if you connect with the community there, it's likely to be a fantastic match for you!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Subject: Guidance on Selecting the Right Number of Schools to Apply To

Dear Remi,

Determining the right number of schools to apply to is a crucial step in your college application journey. This decision is influenced by several factors such as your academic achievements, financial capacity, career aspirations, and personal inclinations. Here's a practical guide to help you strike a balance between your dream schools and safety schools:

Dream Schools:
Consider applying to 2-3 dream schools. These are highly competitive institutions that perfectly match your career aspirations. Despite their lower acceptance rates, they offer excellent opportunities, resources, and networks. Ensure that your application is strong and you fulfill all the admission prerequisites.

Safety Schools:
Also, apply to 2-3 safety schools. These are institutions that are more likely to admit you. They may not be your first choices, but they can still offer a quality education and serve as a fallback plan. When choosing these schools, consider aspects like location, affordability, and program offerings.

Additional Factors to Keep in Mind:
a. Location: Apply to schools in diverse regions to enhance your acceptance chances and explore various living conditions.

b. Cost: Apply to schools with a range of tuition fees to find one that suits your budget.

c. Program Offerings: Choose schools that offer programs in line with your career aspirations and interests.

d. Admission Requirements: Apply to schools whose admission criteria you meet or are nearly meeting.

e. Campus Culture: Investigate the campus culture, extracurricular activities, and student life to ensure the school aligns with your lifestyle.

f. Support Services: Seek schools that provide support services like academic advising, career guidance, and mental health resources.

g. Campus Resources: Consider the availability of resources such as libraries, research facilities, and internship opportunities.

h. Networking Opportunities: Choose schools that provide chances to network with alumni, industry professionals, and potential employers.

i. Reputation: Research the school’s reputation, accreditation, and ranking to ensure it's a respected institution.

j. Personal Preferences: Keep your personal preferences in mind such as location, size, and environment when selecting schools.

Recommended Reference Titles:

1. “The Complete Guide to College Admissions” by the College Board
2. “How to Apply to College: A Step-by-Step Guide” by U.S. News & World Report
3. “The Insider’s Guide to the College Admissions Process” by Niche

Remember, the number of schools you apply to is a personal choice, influenced by your unique situation and objectives. It's crucial to thoroughly research and thoughtfully consider each school before submitting your applications.

Stay blessed,
James.
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